Then, This Morning

Still kind of at a loss for words. The "our team won!" youth riot on Capitol Hill was a little weird, but on the whole, I think the man himself best expressed what this country was feeling last night, way back in 2004:

"America! Tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do -- if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November . . . and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come."

I've got a TSB column up now on how this trade affects Iverson's cultural meaning. I wrote it somewhat with Obama in mind—while our next President is extremely difficult to break down according to categories of race, ethnicity, and even immigration, I do believe that the FBP is, well, blacker than he lets on. Not that Obama's not also in many ways a son of the American heartland, but that's one aspect of the multi-faceted life experience that's made him who he is. He's the son of an African, but also someone who identifies as African-American and has spent time in those spaces. So whenever I hear a pundit comment on Obama being stiff, or not natural enough, I wonder if they see how, when he does loosen up, he does read as much "blacker." In other words, and this is where the Iverson to Detroit comparison comes in, does this nation realize it's elected a black president, or just think Obama is an exceptional man who happens to be black?

Slightly related: I've long been tracking Obama's near-uses of the phrase "a change is gonna come" in speeches. He's come close several times, but it was only last night that he finally delivered it in full. In the triumphant past tense:

"It'a been a long time coming, but tonight, beacuse of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America."

Not trying to advance a "secretly black" meme, or prove how down I am because I've heard Sam Cooke. But this is part of what makes him such an amazing speaker, and candidates: Obama's all things to all people, hits all sorts of notes and connects with everyone. And it's all real.

-I'm feeling this video Chris Bosh made for FanHouse of his immediate reaction. Between him and Jermaine O'Neal, the Raptors might have the most socially conscious frontcourt in the league. Too bad they're in Canada.

-Driving home last night around 1AM PST, some BBC program or other was on. They read a text message from a guy in Kabul expressing, yes, hope and joy over Obama's election. That really set the mind reeling.

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At 11/05/2008 1:24 PM, Blogger Grant said...

The best thing about the election coverage was seeing the reactions of different African-American pundits, reports, etc. What they felt was real, and they couldn't hide it. As a white American I couldn't possibly understand what that must have felt like, but I'm sure it was amazing. This Bosh video evokes the same response. Thanks for the post.

At 11/05/2008 2:28 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I caught that reference to Sam Cooke's song, and the thing is, it doesn't just resonate with black people. Even if whites cannot understand what this really feels like to black Americans, many of us feel it. We recognize the immensity of the struggle and the symbolic power of what has occurred. The song has in some powerful way come true. To me it just keeps reverberating.

At 11/05/2008 2:48 PM, Blogger BPH said...


As a transplanted American in Sudan, I must say that you used two words with which I could not agree more: symbolic power.

People here are ecstatic. Policies and promises are lost a bit in translation, and probably secondary in a country with plenty of its own problems. But consider the view from here: a white country - with a history of slavery and discrimination - just chose a black man to lead it.

At 11/05/2008 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though Barack said this yesterday, I think it was Nas who said it first: "It's been a long time, it's been a long time coming."

At 11/05/2008 4:07 PM, Blogger mschube33 said...

I strongly suggest avoiding the comments section of that particular Fanhouse entry. It's kind of like meeting your girlfriend's douche-tastic ex-boyfriend.

At 11/05/2008 4:13 PM, Blogger Brendan K. said...

The Bosh/O'Neal social consciousness is just all the more perfect for their playing in Toronto- it's quintessential expatriotist commentary. It makes me want Steve Nash to become an outspoken critic of discriminatory Canadian language laws and bring it up in a Suns/Pistons post-game for the Windsor press to cover.

At 11/05/2008 4:44 PM, Blogger BigSaxmo said...

Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal both have really creepy necks. Toronto should work to get Primos Brezec out of his Euroleague contract, and then they could complete the gross-neck trifecta.

At 11/05/2008 6:06 PM, Blogger The Filthy Logician said...

I was born by the river...

Sam Cooke is the shit.

Obama won.

The Spurs lost, again.

It's a good time to be alive.

At 11/05/2008 11:32 PM, Blogger Posit said...

Tonight is the night the 08-09 finally season left the hospital, after a lengthy and frightening birthing process.

At 11/06/2008 7:01 AM, Blogger milaz said...

"This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change."

At 11/06/2008 11:29 AM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Some people are getting carried away with the whole "you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it" thing . . . Tony Fucking Parker dropped 55? Whaaa?

At 11/06/2008 12:04 PM, Blogger Quantavius Sturdivant said...

not to mention d. wade's near 5x5 or amare's big night.

i was thinking about nas too, and how "don't stop thinking about tomorrow"w as clinton's relevant inaugural tune (or was that election night?) wouldn't "the world is yours" sort of make sense?

At 11/06/2008 3:42 PM, Blogger avery said...

finally caught the warriors for the first time this season last night. without a PG, they are like giddy young anarchists running too many stop signs. did anyone else catch the footage of stephen jackson messing around the Great wall of china?
how about azubuike's block of dahntay jones? that was fantastic.

At 11/06/2008 5:44 PM, Blogger themarkpike said...

About to play the Free Darko theme song on a college radio show. Am I officially the first DJ to drop this? Would it be annoying if I keep yelling "DJ MEGAPICKLES... FREE DARKO... EXCLUSIVEEEE"? Will my (minimal) audience be excessively confused?

At 11/07/2008 1:46 AM, Blogger Harris said...

I know you ragged on Melo earlier for not being political enough, hows this?


At 11/07/2008 1:47 AM, Blogger themarkpike said...

rockets v. blazers ending was epic tonight. anybody else watching TNT at 1:45AM?

mcgrady melancholy near miss and the infinite tip-in sadness with a .2 second inbound pass. so we go to OT. roy drains jumper leaving some change on clock and puts blazers up 2. keeps portland weird. yao hits basket and is fouled. shows extreme emotion, then calmly hits free throw. .8 seconds. roy hits 40 foot jumper. game over.

At 11/07/2008 1:51 AM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

And Roy was the one who fouled Yao.

At 11/07/2008 2:00 AM, Blogger The Walker Wiggle said...

I was. Great game. But that's not what brought me by. I thought people might be talking about this change coming:


Gerald Wallace to Golden State, to New York?

At 11/07/2008 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do the Bobcats get equal value for Wallace? Are we looking at simply a payroll move?

If Wallace ends up in Cleveland for Wally's contract, parts, and a pick...watch out. That to me would be much scarier than the Pistons move.

Maybe to Portland for Webster and Bayless.

I would love to see Big Eddy make his way to SA where my hometown boy Matt Bonner has been starter (and not doing so well I might add) next to TD. But I can't figure what they have to trade.

Harrington to me is the 3rd or 4th wheel on a good team, but he would be fun to watch in NY.

More thoughts needed on this one.

At 11/07/2008 7:45 PM, Blogger tray said...

In other words, and this is where the Iverson to Detroit comparison comes in, does this nation realize it's elected a black president, or just think Obama is an exceptional man who happens to be black?

My honest opinion is neither. They think they elected a white guy who happens to have dark skin. If he really did stuff that "read black," he wouldn't have been elected. Well, anyone could've beaten a Republican this year, lames like Kerry included, but he would've had a real tough time.


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